Blue

blue bluePaddle. Paddle. Paddle. Stand up. Fall down. Go find my board. Swim back out. Paddle. Paddle. Paddle. Stand up. Fall down. Go find my board. Swim back out. It was my first time surfing. Humbled and exhausted, I straddled my board to catch my breath, dangled my hands in the water and let wave after wave pass through my fingers. Gently swirling my hands in the water, I turned my board and back away from the beach. It was just me and the blue. There was blue above me. There was blue in front of me. There was blue all around me. Blue met blue on the horizon. My legs were suspended in liquid blue. I felt small, insignificant, and stripped of ambition. And, it felt good.

The sensation I felt is hard to describe. But, let me give it a try. Imagine what it feels like to be a bottle of Coca-Cola when someone slightly twists open your cap and all your carbonation races to the top. That is what it felt like. Energy long locked away deep inside of me leaked out, bubbled up, and began pushing against the boundaries of my epidermis. It wanted out. It was meant to get out. It felt like every cell in my body was vibrating. I was sure that I would dissipate into a pocket of light. And, in that moment, I was fine with that possibility. There was no fear. There was no apprehension. There was no second guessing.

I paddled back in, jumped into my white stripped-down Ford Ranger truck, and drove home in an ocean of BMWs, Mercedes, and Porsches. My hyper-competitive, always-measuring-my-worth-relative-to-others self was satisfied. I could not stop smiling. For the first time, in a long time, I was enough. I had enough. Hell, I had more than enough. I was just given a gift. On that board, in that ocean, someone whispered in my ear and said “There is another way of being in this world and here is what it feels like.”

Do you need a beach, a board, and bobbing up and down in the Pacific Ocean to feel this feeling?

No.

When I am not posturing, posing, dissembling, or signaling, when I am not comparing, contrasting, or measuring and juxtaposing myself against others, when I am being truly authentic, when I am being who I was meant to be, I can feel a slight vibration in the core of my being.

Don’t get me wrong. The beach, the board and the ocean help, a lot. I do not have this feeling often. It’s hard to do the things I know I need to do to have this feeling. It’s hard, in part, because we live in a culture that I believe is designed to distract and redirect us away from who we are supposed to be into full-time consumers. Why? I am not sure. However, I will let you in on a secret I learned that day in the blue. These carbon-based shells in which we reside hold nuclear reactors of potential.

Shawn Humphrey, the Blue Collar Professor (@blucollarprof)

Photo Credit: http://ploddinginparadise.blogspot.com/2011/03/brought-to-you-by-color-blue.html

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